Aadhaar number linking to Bank Account mandatory, clarifies RBI

Aadhaar number linking to Bank Account mandatory, clarifies RBI

Aadhaar number linking to Bank Account mandatory, clarifies RBI

"The Reserve Bank clarifies that, in applicable cases, linkage of Aadhaar number to bank account is mandatory under the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017", it said in a statement.

RBI's clarification comes after replies to Right to Information (RTI) suggested that the apex court has not issued any necessary instructions over linkage of bank account to Aadhaar.

Due to the statutory nature of these rules, the Banks are required to enforce them without further instructions.

Existing bank account holders have been asked to furnish the Aadhar number issued by the UIDAI by December 31, failing which the account will cease to be operational, the government notification had said.

The central bank's response indicates that decision to mandatorily link bank accounts with Aadhaar was taken by the Centre alone, not the Reserve Bank, says Moneylife.

Meanwhile, customers continue to receive reminders from banks on linking their Aadhaar number and bank accounts, as mandated by the government.

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"That is one billion unique Aadhaar numbers linked to one billion bank accounts and one billion mobile phones".

Mr M.S. Kumar, general secretary of the Federation of Bank Employees, said the RBI had issued guidelines based on the government's order to all bankers to seeding Aadhaar details with the bank accounts. The petition before the court argues that the directive to link Aadhaar violates the fundamental right to privacy and equates citizens with money launderers.

In a press release, the central bank categorically stated that the requirement remained in force under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The government had earlier this year made Aadhaar mandatory for opening bank accounts as well as for any financial transaction, including mutual fund investments.

An RTI query revealed that RBI had not issued a mandate to banks in this regard.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in Budget 2017, had mandated seeding of Aadhaar number with Permanent Account Number (PAN) to avoid individuals using multiple PANs to evade taxes.

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